Monday, April 14, 2014

Bowtie

In early February, I won a Valentine's bowtie for Tot from this lovely lady via Instagram. Tot loved it so much that he has worn it to school with a t-shirt. Knowing that a special wedding was on the horizon for our family, I asked her if she would be willing to custom make one for Tot for the occasion. She did, and the results inspired our whole family's attire for the day (and upcoming Easter). We know how I love a coordinated Easter picture.

Our niece got married on Saturday, and we had a lovely time. Bonus is that we got some great pictures with some special people and Tot perfected the photobomb.
Oldest cousin and youngest cousin.

The groom is showing Tot some fish.

Hamming it up with Aunt K.

With the lovely L.

Little photobomber with Mom and Aunt J.

Photobombing Mom and Dad

The new active wear: bowties.

The inspired ensemble.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Back to Normal (ish)

It's all downhill from here. Day 9 seemed to be the tipping point.  Tot has been essentially back to normal with only 3-4 doses of pain meds since the Wednesday after surgery. He has been sleeping nearly 12 hours a night, except last night - I hope he takes a good nap at school!

He is eating us out of house and home. I think he's trying to make up for lost time! He is eating so much that it's comical because that's just not his style. Perhaps he is simultaneously having a growth spurt, but the boy sure loves his food right now. Pizza and hot dogs are his go-to choices, but he has chowed on steak and salad too. Pre-surgery, he drank with each bite to help him swallow. He doesn't do that anymore at all.

His voice is a bit different, and I think it will remain slightly changed. It's a bit higher, maybe? I can't really tell, but everyone notices the difference. I do know that it is not as different as it started out immediately after surgery when it was very airy and much higher for about 5 days. I think his voice just had so much more room to bounce around that it didn't know where to go, plus he was careful with mouth movement because it was painful.

He has decided that soda is no longer "spicy". I have often felt (and liked) the carbonated burn of a fresh soda, but Tot has never liked soda because it was "spicy" to him. As of Sunday, he LOVES soda and said "it's not spicy any more"! We have never pushed him to like or try soda. He gets water, milk and a bit of juice at home. Sometimes, I make decaffeinated iced tea. We aren't huge soda drinkers (anymore), but it will be nice to have an option for him to drink non-caffeinated soda when we go out instead of fountain lemonade, which isn't always delicious.

It's very interesting to hear Tot explaining his surgery and recovery to his friends. A six-year-old friend asked me why Tot's voice was different. Tot told him "it's because my tonsils are out." The same friend asked why, so Tot told him it was so he wouldn't get sick so much. He gives a variation of those two answers to anyone who shows interest.

Since the surgery, Tot, unlike his mother, has never blamed anyone for letting the surgery happen. I struggled with that a bit before the surgery and a lot in the initial days when he was hurting even though there was nothing I could (or would) do to go back and undo it. He really was a trooper for taking meds and drinking plenty. His only complaints were about pain. The food restrictions and other inconveniences bothered MH and me much more than they did him, especially when he was asking for pizza. I'm sure the extra attention and unlimited screen time helped soothe him, but if it were me, I would have let everyone know of my perceived injustices! Kids are the coolest little people.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

One full week: I see a light!

Saturday and Sunday nights continued to show improvement with night waking, but Tot cried a bit in pain each night. He occasionally would complain of his belly hurting, so I think that part of his discomfort was hunger. He had multitudes of food available, but didn't want to eat. He'd lost 2.5 pounds as of Saturday morning - which is a LOT for a kid who only weighs 37.5 to begin with. Fortunately, his appetite returned Monday, and he kept our super-sitter niece, L, busy making hot dogs all day!

We took him out on an excursion for the first time on Monday as well. He was sound asleep within 2 miles of our house. MH, L, and I had dinner at Chuy's - which he slept through in my lap. He woke up enough to nibble some cheese quesadilla, then we wandered around Target for a while before treating ourselves to Coldstone Creamery.

Coincidentally, Monday night (night 7), he went to sleep around 10:30pm (he went to bed earlier but needed a 10:00 snack to hold him over) and snoozed in his own bed until 5:00am when he came to ours mildly complaining of pain. After a few sips of cool water, he slept another 5 hours and was a totally different kid yesterday. He continued to eat better yesterday, and has depleted our stores of many things!

Last night, one full week after his tonsillectomy, Tot slept fully through the night and was still asleep at 7:30am when we left for work. I don't think he moved all night. Special bonus: MH and I also slept all night. We dosed him with 8 hour meds at bedtime and didn't wake to give him more since a cool drink helps better than meds at night anyway. We have not yet exited the tunnel, but there is definitely a light at the end!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Patient Status Through Night Five

Outside of every parent's worst fear, my biggest issue with Tot's surgery was that I couldn't shake the thought of handing over our sweet, unsuspecting boy to a surgeon knowing that a very painful few days was awaiting him on the other side. It FELT elective because, while necessary, it was not immediately necessary - as in he was ok, but would keep having ear infections and sleep difficulties until he had it done. Delaying it was only prolonging the inevitable. 

In spite of my fears, Tot's first complaint after surgery was innocent and informational "Mommy, my throat hurts a little when I swallow". It came 5.5 hours after his last bump of IV meds. He continued to be upbeat and nearly normal all day with OTC pain relief. Actually, every DAY, he has hardly slowed at all as long as he keeps drinking

Nights are another story. Unfortunately Tot, like most anyone, does not possess the ability to simultaneously sleep and drink. The act of breathing dries the airway. When awake, drinking helps counter this (painful) dryness. At night, it catches up. Nights 1 and 2 were sad and scary. From waking every 1.5 hours in pain to waking after several hours to scream for 45 minutes, we were all exhausted

Our doctor does not regularly prescribe pain relief for tonsillectomy patients under age six (I get his reasoning). Tot has only received OTC meds since 1 hour after surgery. Due to bleeding risks, we were initially told to give ibuprofen at the max dosage time of 8 hours. After night two, I called the doctor and was given permission to move to the minimum dosage of every 6 hours at bedtime and through the night. And, if it was time, to dose acetaminophen then too. We also started using a humidifier at night.

Day 3 was hard because he was exhausted and slept for some of the day (without drinking). He perked up after his long nap with lots of water. Night 3 was so much easier; he slept all night except
when I woke him for meds. We hoped it was better because of the changes we made. 

No so. Night 4 was just as bad as the first night. Night 5 has been better so far, but still needs improvement. Newborn days were better. Feeding and diapering are cake compared to pain management. Since more meds are not the cure for dryness, pain management involves strongly encouraging a four-year-old with a raw, ragged throat to swallow fluids. It's challenging is what I'm saying. 

Last month, His dental hygienist said she couldn't see down his throat. His tonsils actually touched his uvula. He was surprised enough when a yawn wasn't painful that he told me about it. I keep telling myself that all this will be worth it in the long run of his health and hearing and wellness. Please let that be true. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tonsillectomy

Tot is now tonsil and adenoid free. They were removed today, and he picked up a set of ear tubes for good measure. 

We prepped him a couple days in advance with a book and talked about it some. We told him it would hurt a bit after, but that he would feel better and not get ear infections and sore throats so much. I also took him shopping to pick out a variety of soft foods. He was curious, but really didn't know what to expect (duh). His biggest concern was going to a hospital. I told him that he was going to a special doctor's office not a hospital. He was fine after that. He did give a good try and claimed that his throat and ears didn't hurt anymore, so he was good without surgery. Magic!

Last night, MH and I treated him to a night out at a pizza arcade. He had a blast. He single handedly won 200 tickets at one time with a dog feeding bouncy ball game. He was elated. Go karts and race car games were icing on the cake. He chose silicone "hand lockers" from the prize counter. Boy had a good night. 

This morning, we arrived at the surgery center armed with Silky, soft blanket and a Superman book. The waiting room had a TV on showing Mickey Mouse, so it was calm and easy. 

He was called back and weighed. Other vitals checked out just fine and he was given some stickers. They told him he could put the stickers on his gown. He instead chose to put them on his legs under his pants. No biggie. What could happen? Famous last words. 

He went in the surgery suite willingly and the doctor was back to talk to us in 23 minutes (yes, we timed it). When we got to him, a nurse was holding him and handed him to me. He was basically inconsolable. It was rough.

He was crying and kicking. He would settle a bit, but then kick and cry. We thought it was pain mixed with waking from anesthesia, so the nurse gave him more pain meds. Yet, several minutes later, he was still kicking and crying. THEN, we remembered the stickers and took them off. That calmed him a lot. He asked to have the IV removed. After a couple sips of water and some ibuprofen, they took it out and he went to sleep. 

We got in the car and he woke briefly to tell me he loved me and his ears didn't hurt anymore. About 30 seconds later, he whined that they did, but then fell back to sleep. He slept for about 45 minutes, then awoke chipper and asked if his tonsils were out. 

He seems ok now, but I am not declaring him fine yet. He may be enjoying residual IV pain meds for now. We are going to stay on top of ibuprofen and Tylenol for the next several days. His copy of Frozen just arrived today so we can chill with that (Ha! No pun intended). Love and cuddles and a new stuffed friend from an old friend should help too.